A proposed ice skating rink is one stride closer to opening in Turlock, after earning a positive review from Turlock Planning Commissioners on Thursday.
The rink would be built and operated by R.A.M. Farms, Inc., which currently runs a seasonal pumpkin patch and corn maze at 716 N. Daubenberger Rd. Though the pumpkin patch would continue, R.A.M. Farms hopes to expand its operations by offering a Christmas tree lot – and an ice skating rink.
According to Ron Macedo, R.A.M. Farms owner and a Turlock Irrigation District Director, the setup would be a portable, temporary, lighted rink, 60-feet by 80-feet in size. The system, powered by a large refrigerator unit, would create a good, consistent ice surface for skating.
“It'll be a first-class unit there,” Macedo said. “We're looking forward to doing it.”
The rink would open this winter, running from from the Friday after Thanksgiving through the second weekend of January each year. The rink would be open weekdays from 12 noon to 8 p.m., and weekends from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.. New sessions would begin every two hours.
Seasonal music would play, and a snack bar would offer food.
Macedo said that though field trips are common to the pumpkin patch as part of an ag education program, field trips to the Christmas tree farm and skating rink are unlikely.
The City of Turlock is in full support of the project, according to Turlock Planning Manager Debbie Whitmore. Turlock Planning Commissioners, too, voiced support for the project, which requires Stanislaus County Planning Commission approval; R.A.M. Farms is located immediately outside of Turlock city limits.
“We are very supportive,” Whitmore said. “… We've worked very closely with the Macedos on this and they've always been very cooperative.”
Whitmore commended the Macedos on the lack of complaints on the R.A.M. Farms pumpkin patch.
And Macedo had some thanks of his own – for the parents who drive their teenagers to the R.A.M. Farms corn maze every weekend, and the countless teenagers who spend their nights on the farm.
Now, he hopes they'll come out in the wintertime as well – as soon as the project gets the needed planning approval.
“And I thought farming had some interesting laws,” Macedo said. “County and city planning does as well.”
Ice Skating Rink Planned for Turlock